Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- DL Myles Garrett
- QB Kevin Hogan (full transcript)
- QB DeShone Kizer
- DL Emmanuel Ogbah
- DB Jabrill Peppers
- DL Danny Shelton
DL Myles Garrett:
On playing in his home state and if he will have a crowd at the game:
"Just the family members that are located near there. That is about it. I don't expect too many people there, and I am going to be focused on winning the game."
On his emotions returning to Texas:
"The same. It is home so it is nice to be back home and around the people I love, but I am more focused on the game than anything."
On if he envisioned having a sack on his first NFL snap:
"No, just going out and making a difference. Whether it was the first play, last play, whenever my time came, it was going to happen, but it came early."
On he has worked with anyone on his flexibility:
"In college, (strength and conditioning) Coach (Larry) Jackson and (strength and conditioning coach) Monty Gibson, they really helped maintain it. It wasn't something that they kept on pushing me; they just wanted me to keep it and try not to lose it the bigger and stronger I got."
On if his flexibility is natural:
"It is just natural."
On if he will play more snaps on Sunday after returning from his ankle injury last week:
"It just depends on how it responds this week and how I respond this week. If I have a good week of practices and it feels good, then I can give it more snaps, play a little bit more in the fourth quarter and bring more to the table."
QB Kevin Hogan:
On the last 24 hours after being named the starting QB for Sunday:
"I just made sure that I was keeping up with my routine of getting a head start with Houston, getting in the film room, watching some tape, making sure that I saw their most recent games this season so that I felt comfortable coming into hear the installs today. Wednesdays are a little bit fast paced because we get all of the installs for base down and third down. I wanted to make sure that I knew all of the looks and was ready for those. Now, it is just about going out and practicing and having a good practice setup today, tomorrow and have some good walkthroughs the rest of the week."
On if the Browns or Texans defense has the edge, given that this is his first week starting:
"I like to think that the offense always has the advantage. We know what we are doing on offense. They are kind of playing guessing games. We are going to make sure we get into this gameplan and try to execute it to the best of our ability and catch them off guard where we can and take advantage of what they do on defense. and what they do on defense is a lot of good things. It is going to be a big week for all of us, just making sure that we are putting in that much more preparation and studying getting ready for this defense."
On the difficulty and his reaction to getting cut by Kansas City:
"It is definitely not a good feeling, but I was very fortunate to be able to come here. I believe in myself. I am a confident person, and I knew that if I was given an opportunity somewhere then I would be able to get better and improve on my deficiencies. I feel like that is something I really emphasized this offseason was just continuing to get better. I really enjoy being in this offense under the tutelage of (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson and (quarterbacks) Coach (David) Lee and in the room with (QB) Cody (Kessler) and (QB) DeShone (Kizer). Last year, it was big for me after being released being able to come over here and learn in this system."
On why the Chiefs didn't place him on their practice squad after drafting him:
"It was a hectic few days. I decided that this was the best place for me to be. (Associate Head) Coach (Pep) Hamilton was here, who I was familiar with from college, and Coach Jackson who I was familiar with through the draft process. To be able to come here and play in a similar offense to what I did in college was something that I looked forward to."
On who he worked with the last few offseasons and where he tried to improve:
"I go back to Stanford when I have some time to work with my coaches out there. My coaches out there, Coach Pep Hamilton, and then this past offseason, I really worked with Jeff Christiansen in Chicago. Something that they all preach and that Coach Lee and Coach Jackson all preach is that it begins with your feet. I was noticing that a lot of things were translating from my feet and into my upper body and throwing motion. I just started working on that, trying to tighten things up and be more efficient in throwing the ball."
On his excitement for Sunday:
"I'm excited. It is another opportunity to go out there and play some ball, which I love. I played a lot of games in college, and when I was out there the other day, it felt like I was in college again. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I'm going to prepare my butt off this week for the guys around me and make sure they have confidence in me and trust me to lead them so that I'm feeling good going into Sunday."
On his expectations for the game:
"Expectations are to be on top of this gameplan and go in feeling confident, knowing what they are going to do and making sure that I am an efficient quarterback."
On if he felt overlooked during training camp, given the number of repetitions he received:
"You might not believe me, but it is something that I never really think about. I have always just tried to worry about what I can control. If there is a reason that I'm not getting certain reps, that means that I have to do really well with the reps that I'm getting and earn more reps. I feel like I slowly started doing that in OTAs and during camp and was making the most of my opportunities. Then I think once you get to games, it is very different from practice for a quarterback. It is real live bullets are flying so I was excited to get into some preseason games and really show that I could move the ball."
On if he views this as an opportunity to start one game or to start his career as a starter in the NFL:
"I'm not even thinking about that. We are getting towards the middle of the season, and we are just trying to get a win. That is all that is on my mind, all that is on the minds of everyone in this locker room. I'm not worried about what's down the road. It is just about one day at a time. I'm already getting ready for this practice coming up. I'm not even worrying about what film I'm going to watch later today. It is going to be one step at a time."
On how to not think ahead, given his efforts throughout his football career:
"Yeah, but I think you do a disservice to your teammates and to yourself worrying about all of those outside factors and stuff. I'm just going to take it one day at a time."
On translating success on his opening drives to the Browns' first series of games:
"It is all about starting fast. Coming out of halftime, we kind of knew what adjustments we wanted to make. Taking those adjustments and starting fast, hoping that you can catch the defense off guard, you kind of know what they are doing as you do in the beginning of the game through preparation. You want to have those scripted plays and be ready to go out and attack them. Throughout the rest of the game, it is all about continuing to make adjustments and where they fit in going from there."
On his growth of knowledge from last year to this year:
"Yeah, it is a lot different. I was kind of swimming last year in Cincinnati. It was my second week active and a lot of those plays out there were my first time getting reps at them. Being a rookie especially going against a great defense out there, things were moving very quickly. That is one of the things this year and playing against our defense and then preseason games and some of the games I have played in this year, with each rep that you get, it starts to slow down because you see things and you recognize them so you are able to play quicker, you recognize things and play more confidentially."
On preparing to play in the Wildcat last year against Cincinnati:
"Yeah, well those were the reps that I had gotten in practice, but I was still preparing as the backup so when I was ready to go in I knew what I was doing on each play, but it is a little different visualizing it before the game versus going out and the live bullets are flying."
On if he knew throughout training camp that he would be the backup QB or if was fighting for a roster spot:
"Like I said before, I have never even thought about that stuff. I was just focusing on me and what I can do to get better. I really do believe if you start worrying about what other people control and what is going on then it doesn't help you. I wasn't focusing on any of that."
On how Kizer can develop by sitting and watching, similar to how he did last year:
"He is still going to be very much involved with me and he is going to be right there with me along the way in the film room. When I come off on the sideline, we are going to be talking about what we see out there. He is an unbelievable talent. He is going to have a very bright future. Right now, it is just about the more you can see. It really helps you. That is what I noticed last year from sitting out a little bit. Hopefully, we both can continue to develop that way."
On if he shortened his release this offseason:
"I would like to think so. That was one of the emphases, but again, it is tied into the feet and making sure you are in rhythm and you are not over striding. I would like to think that I improved my feet, and in turn, it kind of shortened my release. It is a work in progress, and I know that when you are out there sometimes you revert back to what feels natural. It is definitely a work in progress, but I feel like I am improving."
On ability to succeed with zone read plays after being in a pro-style offense at Stanford:
"We did some [zone read] in college. We did a few of them in college. I know it is something that people kind of overlooked and stuff because I was mostly dropping back or handing the ball off in a pro-style set, but I felt comfortable with it in college, had a few good runs and was able to carry it over here."
On if he has a chip on his shoulder after how his NFL career has started:
"You always keep a chip on your shoulder. I have always believed in myself so it is definitely disappointing when you feel that others don't, referring to last year and getting released. I stayed confident and knew I can definitely improve and get better and play in this league. I felt like I had a very successful college career and played against a lot of great defenses then so I knew that if I kept getting better, then I would have a chance to play on Sundays."
On Houston losing Texans DE J.J. Watt and OLB Whitney Mercilus to injury:
"They still have a really good defense. You never hope for anyone to get hurt, but for us, it is about preparing for who they have out there. We know that they are going to be preparing for us and getting ready to fly around against us. We are going to be doing the same."
On challenges facing Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney:
"He can do everything. He is athletic, he is strong and he has a high motor so we are going to have to be able to know where he is at all times to pick him up in the passing game in protection and also in the run game because he is one of those guys that doesn't come around very often."
QB DeShone Kizer:
On if he agrees with Head Coach Hue Jackson that he will benefit from watching this week:
"Yeah, the longer that you are in this league, whether it be playing or not playing, reps are reps and time is time. There are always multiple ways of getting better, and it looks like this week will be from watching another guy out there lead this team."
On if he learned from observing during the second half on Sunday:
"Absolutely, it is a different view over there. Supporting someone else can definitely enhance your own game in the sense that when you are on the sideline, you get a different angle. That angle definitely changes your mindset of how the play is going. When you are out there, things are flying so fast; you think you are seeing things, but from the sideline, you get a wider picture of what is actually going on."
On what he learned from the QB situation at Notre Dame and how that translates:
"There is a lot to learn. For one, this is a much different experience. I was groomed properly throughout the whole offseason to become the starter here and fully took it on and had complete reigns of this offense here. That is much different than the situation I was in last year, but when I was on the sideline last year, I did get to learn all of the different things that go into wining from developing young receivers to the relationships that the coaches have with the players to the environment that you are in at all times to be successful. Now, it is about taking those experiences and applying them to the situation that I am in now. I will be right back in that spot on the sidelines and taking a new position and having a new perspective on what it takes to get this organization back to winning the way it should be."
On if this decision shakes any of his belief in Head Coach Hue Jackson:
"(Laughter) No, not at all. The man has a plan. The plan was for me to be the starter all year. Yeah, it took an adjustment, but once again, there is a lot of thought that goes into a situation like this. I completely trust the process that he has set up for me."
On if the decision shakes his belief that he will be a successful QB for the Cleveland Browns:
"No, it is my job now to do whatever I can. If another opportunity comes up to me to step back out on that field, I have to be the best version of myself. Now, it is just going to take a little longer before I get back out there, which has given me more opportunity to become the best quarterback in this league."
On if his internal clock gets sped up when he is taking hits in the pocket:
"Yeah, it does. You learn. The quarterback I was Week 1 versus last week is much different. Obviously, I took seven sacks Week 1. In the last two games, we only took one. Those were all attempts to try to go forward. The internal clock definitely was adjusted for me, and I was definitely making the proper adjustments in my game to make sure the ball is out of harm's way, and I will continue to do so."
DL Emmanuel Ogbah:
On if he is excited to be return to Houston:
"Oh yeah, can't wait. Get to see some home-cooked meals so I'm excited about that."
On if he will have a lot of family and friends at the game:
"Yeah, I'm going to have a pretty good amount."
On how many of his family and friends will be at the game:
"About 30 or so."
On if this game will be any more meaningful going back after Hurricane Harvey and talking to everyone:
"Yeah, I said I was going to wait until after the season to actually go around and see that kind of stuff. This really is a business trip. All I'm focused on is the game right now."
On if everyone in his family is OK after the hurricane:
"Yeah, they are good."
On how devastating it was to see Texans DE J.J. Watt sustain a season-ending injury after his contributions to Houston following Hurricane Harvey:
"It definitely sucked. You never wish that on anybody, a season-ending injury, but he will definitely bounce back. He is a great player. He is one of the great players in this league."
On what he made of Watt's philanthropic efforts:
"He used his platform. His plan was $200,000 and he raised about $38,000,000. That is amazing. As young guys, we look up to that to see how we can use our platform to make a difference."
DB Jabrill Peppers:
On Texans QB Deshaun Watson and if he has played against him:
"I haven't had a chance to play him at the collegiate level, but I think some of the schemes they run for him are kind of collegiate-like. I think that is kind of what he is used to. It has a lot of run-pass options, just a lot of different things to try to screw with your eyes so they can crease you and have that big gash, but he has targets who can go up and get the ball. He has guys who can take the top off. This week is going to be huge in discipline and making sure your eyes are where they need to be."
On the challenge containing a mobile QB:
"You just have to stay disciplined. Discipline is going to be the name of this game, keeping the quarterback in the pocket, making him beat us with his arm. We know how elusive he can be. Even when you think you have him, he finds a way to get out and maybe make a long throw to one of his playmakers or he makes a play on his own with his legs. Like I said, discipline is going to be the name of the game and the key this week."
On LB Jamie Collins Sr. and DL Myles Garrett both being able to play this week:
"That is going to be a huge addition. We have been without those guys for most of the season. Just the presence alone of those guys is going to help out the rest of us. Myles is going to open up a lot of one-on-one situations for the guys on the defensive line. Jamie is a smart linebacker who is big but can also move in space. They have to account for him, too. We get to open the scheme up a little bit and see how it goes."
On Garrett having two sacks on 19 snaps:
"We have seen it all of training camp and all of OTAs. For us, that is just Myles being Myles, but for the people who haven't gotten the chance to see him play, it is going to be something special."
On if he is excited to have the full starting defense on Sunday:
"Anytime you are healthy, that is always a plus. It definitely helps having those guys back, and we are definitely ready to see how we can put it together. We are looking forward to this week. We have a big task at hand, and we never shy away from any challenge. We are going to hit it head on."
On if his role changes with the return of Collins and Garrett:
"Those are all scheme changes week to week no matter who we are playing. It is next man up, but having those guys back definitely gave us some depth and adds to what we can do. Who knows? It is the beginning of the week. We are going to try some things out and see how it goes."
DL Danny Shelton:
On returning to play Sunday:
"It felt good. I was super excited to be out there finally playing again, just trying to do my part, be a part of the defense and help us get the W. Obviously, it didn't happen, but I still have confidence in our guys and still believe that we can get the job done."
On if he is OK physically after last week's game:
"Yeah, I was good. A little sore, but for the most part, I am good."
On DL Myles Garrett in his NFL debut:
"I have always known he was going to be a playmaker. It was just cool to finally see him out there, too. He did a good job. At the same time, I know that it could have been done better and part of it is just him needing to be more healthy. We will be good. Yeah, we will be good."
On if he was impressed by Garrett not being fully healthy and still having two sacks:
On his thoughts when Garrett earned a sack on his first NFL snap:
"You lucky kid (laughter). He is definitely the player that everybody thought and wants him to be. He just needs to continue to be confident and do his job."
On how to try to contain Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"Really just by doing our job. He is another great quarterback and he is going to do his job in the air and on the ground so we just have to make sure we do our jobs and stay focused."